The Defining Moment:
From the outside, the company looked like they had it all – surges in revenue, massive data sets on the true factors underpinning team success, and a pole position inan increasingly relevant services category. But on the inside, complexity was accumulating.
Having recently received a significant investment from a private equity firm, and experienced a period of explosive but unsustainable growth, the new leadership team of a data company had been tasked with finding new organic and inorganic ways to grow the organization in a more sustainable manner. Central to any solution was full alignment between leaders and operational teams on the definition and strategic significance of good profit, and the subsequent guardrails put on the organization’s growth.
The Executive Leadership Team and a diverse group of their employees engaged in a remote solving sprint to lay the groundwork for a growth strategy that will put them on track to hit the following key milestones:
• 2020: survive (the pandemic and plateauing growth), restructure, and re-align
• 2021: Get a growth plan with sustainable revenue and margin targets on-track
• 2022: have the plan running “full steam ahead” to meet a series of ambitious targets in 2023 and beyond
Their objectives were:
- Develop clarity and alignment on the foundations for our success in 2023
- Pursue our targets with the right thematic focus and the right supports to ensure success
32 experts from across the organization invested 1,040 cumulative hours of collaboration over 7 days, aligning on 24 prioritized recommendations describing a sustainable market vision and growth plan for retaining customers and maximizing partnership value.
Two key benchmarks post engagement:
1. In a post survey, all participants unanimously agreed/strongly agreed that the solving sprint spurred the conversations needed to solve their challenge
2. When asked, how much time would have been spent arriving at the same recommendations without the solving sprint, 70% of the participants said 4-6months or longer.
‘The way that the 400 ideas boiled down into these final recommendations that connect to one another. We didn’t just arrive at what we need to do by2023, we arrived at a process and an order.’
‘In the eight years I have been here, I haven’t felt like we have had a long term plan. What I see here is a set of marching orders that will become the foundation for our long term plan. I think all our employees have been looking for this for years.‘
‘This was a process of intelligent speed dating that we all needed, given our mix of experience. To carry these forward we need a high degree of trust and I think this process laid that foundation.’
‘Removing the silos and having people from all groups in one area; no fear in revealing the dark skeletons, our pain points that we truly need to fix mixed with our dreams of what we want to become. I loved how we weren’t afraid to be uncomfortable, which led us to interesting and actionable ideas.’
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